Martinelli attacks presiding judge's decisions in trial for wiretapping

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  • Sat, 09/08/2018 - 20:09
Carlos Carrillo
  • Carlos Carrillo, defensa de Martinelli
  • EFE

The defense of former President Ricardo Martinelli, arrested for alleged illegal wiretapping during his administration, today filed two constitutional guarantees against presiding judge Jerónimo Mejía, for recent decisions taken in the trial against the former president for this case, Carlos Carrillo, coordinator of Martinelli's defense team, told Efe.

Carrilllo said the two legal actions were filed by him this Friday before the Panamanian Supreme Court.

The amparos attack decisions issued by the magistrate presiding judge on August 29 at the resumption of the indictment hearing against the former head of state (2009-2014).

Carrillo explained that one of these decisions was "the order not to rule the objections before the presentation of the defense evidence", and the other "to postpone the reply of the Prosecutor (Harry Díaz) to the objections of the evidence (contained in 7 booklets with the wiretaps) for up to 15 days".

On August 29, the indictment hearing against the former president was resumed after three weeks suspended, but it entered a new recess, until September 14, after the Prosecutor's Office requested time to respond to the objections of the defense.

The prosecutor, who asks for 21 years in prison for Martinelli, requested the recess to prepare his response to the objections presented that day by the defense against the evidence included in his indictment, some of which were branded as illicit and irrelevant by the lawyers of the former president.

The recess was decreed on August 6 so that the defense, specifically Carrillo, reviewed the seven booklets with the transcript of the illegal wiretaps allegedly ordered by Martinelli between 2012 and 2014 to more than a hundred people.

At the end of this indictment hearing, which began on June 25, the presiding judge must decide whether or not to go to oral trial.

Martinelli, who claims to be innocent and a victim of alleged political persecution, is being held in a minimal security prison located on the outskirts of the Panamanian capital since June 11.

That day the former president, 66, was surrendered to Panama by the US authorities, where he was imprisoned for one year because of the extradition request for wiretapping.


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